When I agreed to review the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Bounty I expected my 13 year old daughter to be super interested as she loves eating organically and keeps us on this path, unless we eat out. That said, eating organically is one thing, growing my own vegetables and herbs to live more sustainably seemed like an enormous commitment with our busy schedules, but I was wrong.
The night the AeroGarden Bounty arrived, it wasn’t my daughter, but rather my 17-year old son who ran to de-box it, I felt like I was watching a YouTube unboxing video. It took, maybe 30 minutes to have the product up and running, including adding the pods, water, nutrients, and setting up the LED lights. Within a matter of days, all 9 of the pods were growing. I set the lights to go on at 3AM and off at 7PM, but I’m not sure what the ideal timing is because, when they come on at 3AM, my whole downstairs lights up. The lights actually woke up a friend who was sleeping on our sofa it was so bright. He unplugged the garden, so in the morning we had to set it up again.
I couldn’t believe how easy it was, how beautiful it became, how it turned me from being a black thumb, to being able to grow more basil, dill and chives than I ever thought possible. I started out using the pods that came with the unit, but now I have no idea what to grow. The mint really didn’t make it and the parsley hasn’t flourished, but my basil and chives I can’t harvest fast enough. So, I’m trying to decide what to replace the lower performing plants with so the entire garden pops, I’m thinking strawberries. Now, even my daughter is invested, as she said, “This garden is legit”!
I expected to grow herbs on my counter, but I never expected the fun I’d have working on this garden with my son. When he comes home, the first thing he does is check the water supply and nutrients whose levels are displayed on a small screen in the front of the unit, which are often low, so he has the opportunity to really engage with our garden.
The control center displays the plants vital signs in an easy to read, easy to understand presentation so anyone can figure out what the garden needs. Even with my black thumb, I’ve been able to keep this garden humming. I have fresh herbs in a moment’s notice, my biggest complaint being that I just don’t know what to do with so many herbs.
I wish the garden came with more examples of what to do with all of the herbs, how to dry them, because I had no idea what to do with this much basil, until I started cooking with it!
Recently, I started making pesto with the basil we’ve been growing, and it’s amazing. I asked my buddy Baker for a recipe and, from his suggestions, I’ve been feeling my way through the pesto experience. My current favorite recipe is to throw as much basil as I can harvest into my food processor, then add 1/5 of a bag of frozen organic spinach, a handful of almonds, some Parmesan Romano & Asiago cheese, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and some olive oil. Moments later and we had pesto for a week!
To summarize, the AeroGarden Bounty experience is awesome and great for kids especially! You can find a retailer selling them here: AeroGarden retailer locator. You can also buy the one I reviewed directly on their website using the following link: AeroGarden, which is now on sale for the holidays at $223, regularly $279. This holiday season, consider giving the gift of fresh herbs and vegetables all year long, give an AeroGarden!
Disclosure: Companies submit review products such as the Aerogarden, but this does not impact his professional opinion or the reviews he writes.